How To Choose A Rug

A beautiful rug is a versatile item that can perform a variety of functions in the home. As a purely aesthetic piece, a rug can create a striking visual statement, either in its own right or as a means of drawing attention to or marking out a particular area in the room. A colourful woven rug softens the feel of an interior, enlivens an otherwise monochrome interior palette, and adds a touch of luxury to a bare wooden floor.

The Conran Shop rug collection featuring abstract shapes and colourful patterns


The first thing to do before purchasing a rug takes some measurements. You’ll want to know the size of the space available, if your rug is to be a decorative addition to your home or, if it’s going underneath a dining table, coffee table or other furniture, you’ll want to make sure that the perimeter of the rug exceeds those of the items in question in such a way that it does not get lost.

You’ll also want to consider the shape of the rug you’re going to buy. Does a rectilinear rug suit your space? Or perhaps the room would better suit a circular piece?

Practical Considerations

A good quality rug should have underlay if it is going on bare boards.

Choose durable, hard-wearing rugs for placement in hallways and landings, as they are going to get a lot of wear.

Once you have ordered your rug, someone will contact you regarding delivery. Waiting times will be longer for custom-made rugs than for vintage pieces.

The Conran Shop rug collection featuring geometric designs and contemporary finishing, with options from wool to silk
Angular Frame Rug | The Conran Shop Rug Collection with abstract shapes and modern designs


We offer a range of vintage and contemporary styles, which changes regularly.


Our vintage collection usually includes Moroccan and Persian rugs, and Kilims from various regions across Iran, each with its own unique style and characteristics. The benefit of buying a vintage rug with the Conran Shop is that you know you are purchasing an authentic piece that has been hand-selected from the best available sources.


With contemporary rugs, you have more variation in shape, colour, and material. Jute rugs, contemporary kilims, dhurries and a selection of animal hide pieces are usually found in our contemporary collection. Many of these pieces are sourced with the help of knowledgeable designers.

Caring For Your Rug

If you see a loose thread, cut it with scissors right at the base. Never pull a loose thread, as this can cause the rug to unravel.

Loose fibres are to be expected, especially with a new woollen run. These can be addressed with an occasional vacuum, but avoid excessive vacuuming as this can promote shedding.

Turn your rugs to prevent damage from exposure to natural sunlight.

Protect the fibres of your rug from being crushed by furniture by placing protective casters beneath the legs.

Loop piled rugs should be gently beaten instead of vacuumed,

The Conran Shop Rug Collection featuring indigo and natural colours in wool, with options including kilims, dhurries and runners

Rugs Glossary


Named after the tribe who invented the carpet-weaving technique, Berber handmade rugs are durable and feature a distinctive knot technique. These rugs can be vintage and hand-made, or contemporary and made on industrial looms.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina


A flat, woven rug, originating in India, dhurries are usually made of cotton or wool.

Gotland Sheepskin Throw at The Conran Shop | Modern and contemporary rugs
Moroccan Kaarol Rug at The Conran Shop | Natural hues and expert finishing


Wool is attached to the rug base with a knot, in a labour-intensive process that creates a strong and durable rug. The more knots, the more durable the rug.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina | Knotted and woven by hand in natural hues


The rug is produced on a loom that is operated by hand.


This is a technique for producing rugs by hand, using a small special gun that punches a pattern into a canvas. Hand-tufted rugs are soft under the feet, and their smooth texture provides a good surface for complex patterns.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina | Crafted by hand with experty finishing and modern designs


A jute rug is made of a natural, blonde-coloured fibre that has a rustic, natural feel and a rugged texture. Jute rugs are durable and thickly woven.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina | Woven by hand on the loom
The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina | Made by hand featuring stripes and abstract patterns


A kilim is a tapestry woven from fairly harsh, thick wool, made in Turkey, Iran, and elsewhere, usually featuring striking geometric designs. The Kurdish versions are brighter, more varied, and usually cheaper.

The Conran Shop Rug Collection | Premium wool and fabrics woven by hand


This refers to the depth of a rug, or how far the fibres protrude from the floor. A deeper pile will have a more luxurious feel.

Warp & Weft

These terms refer to the directions that threads are placed to weave the rug. The warp yarns are held in place, with tension, on the loom, and the weft yarns are drawn through them, over and under, using a shuttle.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Designs crafted by hand in jute, wool and cotton


Woven rugs can be either hand-made or made on a loom, and usually, feature geometric patterns in a mix of colours.

The Conran Shop Rug Buying Guide | Image courtesy of nanimarquina | Contemporary designs individiually woven by hand

“I have never been keen on wall-to-wall carpet in my homes: I prefer to show beautiful old floorboards where they exist with lots of rugs or Indian dhurries.”

Sir Terence Conran, The House Book, 1974